Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners about recent investments in their company and how they justified them. This is what they said.
• “As a freelance writer and communication professional, I don’t have a lot of overhead,” said Teri Saylor, owner of Open Water Communications, which provides writing, photography and communication services to a variety of publications, businesses and organizations. “I had been working in a home office, but recently got a great deal on office space at a company where I was once employed. Commuting to work, hauling my laptop and adapting to actual office hours has been an adjustment, but the benefits are real. I not only have a professional workplace, when the company needs to contract for extra help in my line of work, I’m available.”
• “Last month, I had to purchase two more vehicles for my business. I needed to expand from two teams to three teams working each day, and I didn’t want my employees having to use their own vehicles,” said Lucie Wismer, owner of Lucie’s Home Services, a Durham-based residential cleaning service. “With three teams working, I can clean many more houses and also maintain the quality of the cleanings.”
• “We recently renewed our investment in the state-of-the-art but very expensive cell phone forensics equipment that we use,” said Derek Ellington, owner of Wake Forest-based Ellington Digital Forensics. “There are multiple advantages to capital investment: equipment that others don’t have keeps you ... in front (of the competition), better tools can provide an efficiency that increases productivity and finally, using the best equipment shows your clients they made the right choice and that you take care about their business and their results.”
• “I recently rebranded my company,” said Randy Bernstein, owner of BrandShark, a Hillsborough based promotional products distributor. “The response has been very positive, and I feel that the new name better represents what I do – helping people share their brand to become memorable. It was a scary step that took a leap of faith, but I am very happy that I made this change.”